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Israel’s top ten technologies that are transforming the Web

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Friday, August 20th, 2010

Israel is at the cutting edge of some of the best Internet technologies around. ISRAEL21c takes a look at the brightest new companies that are now revolutionizing the web.

Israel’s success in the technology sector is no secret. Over the years, the country has become a key research and development center for multinational companies such as Motorola and Intel, had a role in revolutionizing the way we use the Web and conduct business on it, and kept our computers and browsers secure.

More than 3,000 start-ups have been launched in Israel and in 2009 $1.12 billion in capital was raised by 447 Israeli high-tech companies.

The quantity and successes of Israel’s startups have earned the country the nickname startup nation. While most of the attention is focused on its contributions to cleantech, biotech and green tech (Israel created drip-irrigation), perhaps no sector has had more of an impact than its Web sector.

Most well known for developing instant messaging, which AOL bought and turned into AIM, and for the shopping comparison site Shopping.com which eBay purchased, the web sector has gained new traction in recent years. In 2009 alone, the sector received 22 percent of VC funding and saw three companies sweep the TechCrunch50 awards. In May 2010, Israel’s Soluto, an anti-frustration software that boosts PC efficiency, won TechCrunch Disrupt.

In the book Startup Nation, authors Dan Senor and Saul Singer attribute Israel’s success to the diversity and education of Israeli immigrants, the “chutzpah” of Israelis, and the mandatory military experience after high school, among other factors.

Yaron Samid, an entrepreneur and founder of TechAviv Angels, a group that connects successful Israeli entrepreneurs and investors in the Internet and mobile sectors, thinks the military experience and the culture it creates are the biggest contributing factors to the country’s success in this sector: “In the army, these young soldiers are being told what they can and can’t do. When they get out of it, they realize they are now in control and can determine their own destiny.

“The army has instilled upon an entire generation a spirit that is conducive for building a Web startup. You have very smart guys coming out of it who want freedom and don’t want to join a big tech company. They have found it in developing Web applications with little cost,” Samid asserts.

Low costs and numerous successes have attracted investors such as Jeff Pulver. A former pioneer in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and current Internet angel investor, Pulver maintains strong ties to the sector in Israel and frequently visits the country to meet with local web startups because “what sector of the Internet space hasn’t been touched by Israeli innovation?”

This situation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. According to Daniel Cohen, partner at Gemini Israel Ventures, while historically Israel’s biggest contributions have been Shopping.com and instant messaging technology, “In the future, Israel will dominate certain niches, such as gaming and advertising, and as the market focus shifts away from the US, Israel can produce a big mainstream winner in Europe or Asia.”

ISRAEL21c brings you the top 10 Israeli companies contributing to the Internet today.
For the list please click here